We have been reviewing dryers since 2010. We have spent more than 120 hours researching and evaluating electric dryers online and, whenever possible, testing models to get an in-depth understanding of each one’s features.
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The Kenmore Elite can dry large amounts of clothing fast, and the SmartDry technology adjusts temperatures appropriately for each cycle.VIEW DEAL ON Sears
Based on our research, the LG DLE7200VE is the best overall dryer. It has a generous 7.3-cubic-foot capacity that can dry a large load of laundry, all the cycles and features you need to customize each load according to what you are drying and a strong warranty.
It’s an all-around great dryer for a fair price.
Why trust us
We have been reviewing dryers since 2010, putting more than 120 hours into researching online, comparing features on product pages, watching videos and reading customer reviews. We contacted manufacturers and other professionals to find answers to questions and get their expert opinions on best brands and models on the market and features to look for. Richard Spencer, owner of Utah-based Mark-A-Newt Appliance Specialists, has been in the appliance repair business since the 60s. He said the brand he repairs the least when it comes to the laundry room is Speed Queen, which is not sold online, but he also recommends Whirlpool, which also makes units sold under the Maytag label. His general rule of thumb is to look for good warranties on any appliance you buy and research how easy it is to find replacement parts before you buy. All appliances eventually break down and need repairs.
The LG DLE7200VE is energy efficient and economical, but still comes with a wide variety of cycles and options for drying each load exactly the way you want.
The Whirlpool WED7500GW is not as efficient or feature-packed as some but it has a few strong selling points, including a sanitize cycle and ultra-modern control panel, all for less than $700.
Kenmore Elite 61633
The Kenmore Elite can dry large amounts of clothing fast, and the SmartDry technology adjusts temperatures appropriately for each cycle.
The LG DLE7200VE has a strong feature set comprised of capabilities you will actually use at a price that makes sense for most people.
You will find a lot of modern touches with this machine, even though we found it for as little as $850 at the time we reviewed this model. With the associated app, your phone can tell you when your laundry will be done. You can even give this dryer voice commands through the app with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Not everyone will use those features, but having the option is nice. This is a great machine in terms of energy efficiency, too. It has an Energy Star and ties for the best Combined Energy Factor (CEF), one metric the EPA uses to determine a dryer’s efficiency. This machine also has impressive numbers when it comes to warranty. You get the standard one year for parts and labor, but the drum is covered for 10 years – 10 times the coverage offered by most.
One disadvantage with the DLE7200VE is that it doesn’t have as many cycle types as some competitors, but there should be enough to accommodate most laundry scenarios. One type of cycle it is missing is a steam option, which can be nice for getting things to come out wrinkle-free. With a 7.3-cubic-foot capacity, this is considered a full-sized machine with ample room for most loads, but it is worth noting there are even larger dryers out there. If you do a lot of extra-large loads you may want to look for an even bigger dryer. Those with tiny laundry spaces also might want to consider something different. This is over 29 inches wide. That is not huge but there are smaller options.
The Whirlpool WED7500GW is one of the least expensive options we considered but it has one of the coolest, most modern displays. The control panel is completely flat with a digital display.
This stands out, especially when many of the competitors we looked at still have just a manual dial. We also like that you get a specific sanitize cycle that is extra-long with high heat to reduce bacteria. This dryer also has sensors that help the machine dry without much input from you. If you set it to Smart Dry it will automatically finish drying the load in whatever time is necessary. This machine has a wide variety of cycles. You get settings like Cottons, Causals, Jeans, Towels and Bedding/Bulky that help you dry different things in different ways. We do wish it had a steam cycle. That can be nice for eliminating wrinkles, static and odors.
This machine is less impressive in other ways. You will not find an Energy Star on this model. Also, this dryer is not smartphone compatible. It has a hamper-style door, which is great for transferring wet laundry from the washer without wet clothing falling to the floor. It is less convenient when unloading dry clothes, though.
Best Time Saver
At a sizable 9.2 cubic feet, the Kenmore Elite 61633 electric dryer has the capacity and functionality to dry big loads of laundry quickly. This Kenmore dryer has 10 drying cycles, and you can choose between timed cycles you set or a cycle that gauges moisture levels and changes drying times and temperatures accordingly.
The particulars of this SmartDry setting vary depending on the size of the load, the kinds of fabrics and the dryness setting you have selected. You can use this setting to prevent the dryer from ruining clothing by over-drying.
A steam-refresh option cuts down on odors, reduces wrinkles, and shortens or even eliminates ironing times. With this feature, you can get clothing ready to wear in about 20 minutes. It also has a wrinkle-guard mode that tumbles your clothes at intervals for up to 150 minutes after drying is complete to reduce the likelihood of set-in wrinkles. You also have the option of running the dryer in energy-saver mode during a normal drying cycle. This runs the dryer at a somewhat lower temperature for a slightly longer time to reduce electricity consumption. Also included are a number of convenience features, such as a damp signal in case you want to remove some clothing midcycle and let it finish drying on a hanger, and a drum light so you can see what’s inside. You can also reverse the direction of the door to fit it into the space you have available.
Best Steam Dryer
The Samsung DV8750 had the most cycle types and options of any dryer we compared. That alone makes it pretty great for drying things exactly the way that you want. It also has steam options among its wide array of choices.
That is rare among the dryers we compared. Steam can help reduce wrinkles, static, odors and germs so clothing comes out fresh. The DV8750 takes load selection even a little further with an option for saving your own drying cycle so you can use your favorite time, temperature and other settings by pushing the My Cycle button rather than entering them manually each time. The DV8750 also tied for the most efficient dryer we compared with a high CEF number from the EPA so it will save you money over time. This dryer lacks the strong warranty of our top pick, but if you value the power of steam, this is a great option.
Finding the Right Dryer for You
Dryers range in price from $300 on the budget end to over $1,000. Higher-end machines usually have larger capacities, more settings options and upgraded features such as moisture sensors. Another thing to consider is the cost of using the dryer. Products with Energy Star certification and energy-saving modes can reduce the amount of energy consumed each time you do a load of laundry.
A National Association of Home Builders study concluded that washers last an average of 10 years and dryers last an average of 13. If you don’t have the budget to replace the whole set at one time you may be picking out a dryer on its own, without the manufacturer's matched pairs recommendations to guide you. A good general rule is to pick a dryer with roughly double the capacity of your washer. That way even the largest load you can fit in your washer will have sufficient room to move around and get thoroughly dry.
Not everyone has a choice of gas or electric hookups, but if you do it is worth noting that gas dryers and electric dryers tend to perform similarly. There are subtle differences in cost, though. Generally, gas dryers cost more initially but less over time than electric dryers. Gas dryers also tend to run at slightly higher temperatures so they dry laundry faster.
Key Features and Technology
Most modern dryers have a wrinkle-prevention mode where it tosses a load of laundry intermittently after a cycle to prevent excessive wrinkling, so you don’t have to worry about returning home to a load of crinkled clothes. Some dryers also allow you to delay the start of a load so you can time it to finish just when you or someone else gets home.
The best dryers have a generous selection of cycles so you can customize the setting to whatever type of laundry you’re drying. Some dryers have drum lights so you can see if you, for instance, leave a stray sock behind. Other nice features to look for include a reversible door, vibration reduction, a child lock, and an end-of-cycle signal to let you know it’s time to gather you wash.
Design & Appearance
In addition to finding the right dryer features for you and your family, you want a dryer that looks nice and will complement the room it occupies. A matching pair creates a nice aesthetic. Often these appliances sit in kitchens and other areas where people see them, so they shouldn’t be an eyesore and should blend with the room.
The design should be practical and straightforward, with and intuitive control panel that lets you easily perform functions like adding steam or activating wrinkle reduction.
In recent years, companies have developed dryers that cut down on the use of electricity while 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, resulting in significant energy savings. Lint filter and duct-clog monitors also help conserve energy (and guard against fire hazards) by keeping airways clean.
Vented dryers are the most common type of dryer in our comparison. The exhaust from this process – evaporated moisture – is vented outside. There are some options available that might come in handy if you do not have a way to vent the air. Some ventless options can also save a lot of energy.
- Condenser Dryers – These dryers use a heat exchanger that removes moisture from warm air that has passed through your wet laundry. Once the moist air comes out of the drum it goes back into the condenser, where it is cooled to removed moisture. The resulting liquid is then pumped to a drain hose or a tray. These models can leave a room rather humid and function best in a room with good ventilation.
- Heat Pump Dryers – This style of dryer takes it even a step further. When the moist air is created in the drying drum, it goes through a heat pump. A cold side condenses the moisture and the resulting mixture goes down a drain pipe or into a tank. The warm side reheats the remainder of the air to be used again for drying the laundry. Heat pump dryers don't leave the room they occupy moist, which makes them better for apartments and other small spaces. They also use very little energy, about half of what condenser dryers and vented dryers use. They do require a bigger initial investment and their drying cycle takes longer.