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Best dryers 2020: Electric dryers for every budget

Best dryers 2020: Electric dryers for every budget
(Image credit: Real Homes)

We’ve found the best electric dryers around, with everything from large dryers to clothes dryers that have smart features.

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You can expect to find dryers from Maytag, LG, Amana, and more, which have a range of features to consider for your next purchase. 

Before you buy, it’s worth thinking about what kind of dryer will suit your needs. Perhaps you need a large capacity dryer so that it can handle family loads, or instead, maybe you need something with impressive spin speeds and handy smart features. Or even simply something that doesn’t take up loads of space? Whatever you’re looking for in a dryer, we’ve got you covered. 

If you need a washer to go with your dryer, don’t miss our guide to best front load washers or consider the best top load washers if you want something a little cheaper. If it’s space you need to save in your home, opt for a dryer that can be stacked with a front load washer, a combination you obviously can’t achieve with a top load dryer or washer.

Consider where your dryer will live, too. Is its appearance what’s most important to you, or do you need a dryer that has smart features that you can control from your phone? 

What else should you look out for when choosing a clothes dryer? How many features you need will affect the price of your dryer. Some of the dryers in our round up include features such as anti-wrinkle drying, voice activation, steam refresh cycles. However, it’s also worth considering details as basic as the warranty that each dryer comes with, especially if you’re going to be paying more money. 

Find the dryer that works for you with our guide to the best dryers around. 

1. Whirlpool WED7500GW:  Best dryer overall 

Whirlpool WED7500GW Dryer Review

(Image credit: Whirlpool )

Whirlpool WED7500GW

Great results and convenience at a reasonable price

Type: Top loader | Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft | Cycles: 26 | Programs: 5 | Features: AccuDry sensors, Wrinkle Shield, Intuitive Touch Controls | Warranty: 1-year

Range of various cycles 
Very quiet 
Easy to use 
No Smart functions 

Our best overall choice for dryer provides great results and convenience at a reasonable price. While similar spec models can cost $1,000 or more, the Whirlpool WED7500GW dryer is just over the $800 mark.

Sturdy and well engineered, its generous space has ample room to tackle a full load or larger items such as sheets, blankets and towels. Its wide hamper door makes it easy to unload laundry, and the Intuitive Touch Controls makes it simple to set or customize your own options. 

With 26 cycles, it has a wide range of settings that includes, Casuals, Jean, Bedding/Bulky, Towels and more. The AccuDry sensor technology is particularly convenient in matching moisture levels with the correct drying times. Preventing over-drying and saving time and energy. And the Wrinkle Shield function is practical in ensuring crease-free results.    

While the Auto Dry cycles can take a little longer, you can manually set the Timed Dry to fit around your schedule. It also operates quietly but has a handy end-of-cycle tone to let you know once your drying is all done. 

It may not have all the advanced tech features of Smart models, but the Whirlpool  WED7500GW electric dryer delivers a powerful dry for a reasonable price.  It probably has more cycles than you would ever need, but it is ideal for large families or busy households. 

2. LG DLEX3700W: Best smart dryer

LG DLEX3700W

(Image credit: LG)

LG DLEX3700W

Does all the brain work for you

Type: Front loader | Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft | Cycles: 12 | Programs: 12 | Features: SmartThinQ Wi-Fi App Control, works with voice-activated Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, SpeedDry cycles | Warranty: 1-year. LG Motor has 10-year

SmartThinQ Wi-Fi App gives you complete control 
Advanced technology features 
Loud Difficult to read 
LED control screen in a dim room 

This high-tech, LG LG DLEX3700W smart stackable front load electric dryer with TurboSteam, Sensor Dry does all the brain work for you. At just a touch of a button, you can customize and monitor your laundry cycles from your smartphone. 

This model is one of the most versatile, user-friendly and reasonably priced Smart dryers on the market. It is well designed and powerful thanks to an advanced aluminized alloy coating. Features include a TurboSteam function that ensures wrinkle-free garments through its high steam temperature. The Sensor Dry feature matches inside moisture levels to the correct drying temperature, and adjusts the cycle accordingly. It also has the practical Steam Sanitary cycle that uses steam to safely sanitize those 'non-washable' items such as children’s toys or pillows. If you don’t have time to spare, the SpeedDry setting is efficient for drying clothes evenly in 15 minutes. 

The highlights of course are the Wi-Fi enabled capabilities that allow more flexibility to manage your laundry. The handy notifications keeps you updated on your drying progress, and you’ll never even have to leave your sofa! 

Considering you can expect to spend thousands on a premium Smart dryer, the LG LG DLEX3700W electric dryer with TurboSteam, Sensor Dry is value for money. 

3. Amana NED4655EW: Best budget dryer

Amana NED4655EW Dryer Review

(Image credit: Amana)

Amana NED4655EW

An inexpensive dryer that gets the job done

Type: Top loader | Capacity: 6.5 cu. ft | Cycles: 11 | Programs: 3 | Features: Automatic Dryness feature, Wrinkle Prevent option | Warranty: 1-year

Simple controls 
Timed Dry cycle to save energy 
Stiff door 
No steam option 

If you’re after an inexpensive dryer that gets the job done, the Amana NED4655EW is an excellent choice. The added bonus is that you can find it on the market for just under $400, which is a bargain.

Although it is 'no-fuss', with a smaller capacity, it has practical features to ensure completely dry clothing. The Automatic Dryness feature senses the inside temperature and adjusts drying cycle to prevent overheating. It also has the convenient Wrinkle Prevent option for crease-free garments at the end of each cycle. So you won’t have a load to iron! If you only have a few items or limited time, the Timed Dry cycle is useful for setting to your specific schedule. You can set this up to 60 minutes, which is also energy efficient.

While this may not be advanced as other models, it’s ideal for a budget yet efficient dryer. This model is more suitable for couples or small households with basic requirements. 

4. Maytag MEDB955FW:  Best high-end dryer 

Maytag MEDB955FW Dryer Review

(Image credit: Maytag)

Maytag MEDB955FW

High-performance dryer, with all the bells and whistles

Type: Top loader | Capacity: 9.2 cu. ft | Cycles: 10 | Programs: 5 | Features: PowerDry system, Extra Moisture Sensor, Steam Refresh Cycle | Warranty: 1-year

Extra large 9.2 cu. ft capacity for large loads 
Powerful drying results in a faster  time 
Very quiet
 No Wi-Fi capabilities 

The Maytag MEDB955FW electric dryer is a high-performance dryer, with all the bells and whistles. Designed to quickly handle heavy-duty loads, this model is equipped with a range of premium features to deliver professional results. 

Well engineered, this dryer is sleek and modern with a handy magnetic door latch. Perhaps the more practical design feature is the extra large 9.2 cu. ft. capacity that easily accommodates large loads or bulky items. This also helps to significantly reduce the number of loads and use less energy.  As you would expect from a premium model, it boasts impressive, advanced features. Moisture sensors are convenient in adjusting moisture levels to the correct drying times to save time, and its PowerDry system efficiently dries a full load in a much quicker time. 

A minor drawback is the size may be too big to fit into a compact laundry room. However, this is more suitable for large households with plenty of laundry to tackle. 

While it is more expensive, the large capacity and professional results makes it a worthwhile investment. 

5. Bosch 300 Series (WTG86400UC): Best dryer for small spaces

Bosch 300 Series (WTG86400UC) Dryer Review

(Image credit: Bosch)

Bosch 300 Series (WTG86400UC)

Best dryer for small spaces

Dimensions (WHD): 23.5 x 33.25 x 25 | Type: Front loader | Capacity: 4.0 cu. ft | Cycles: 15 | Programs: 4 | Features: Time Dry, Wrinkle Block program | Warranty: 1-year

Stackable 
Condensate drying so no duct required
Longer drying cycles 
No steam option

If you don’t have enough space for a standard sized dryer, the Bosch 300 Series Dryer is small yet powerful. At 24-inches, it fits well into compact utility spaces or can be stacked with the appropriate kit. Set in a quality stainless steel tub, it is built to last and looks sleek. Operating on a condensate system, this model is ventless and doesn’t require a duct during installation. This also works by retaining the moisture inside the drum, which enhances overall drying performance.

With 15 cycles, it offers more than enough settings to choose from. This includes the practical Time Dry and Delay-Start which are handy for when you’re busy. And the convenient wrinkle block program effectively reduces any creasing at the end of each cycle. It does have a smaller capacity at 4.0 cu. ft. however, this is still adequate for drying medium-heavy loads. If you do require more loading space or have a large household, this is probably not ideal. 

Bear in mind that as this is a ventless dryer, cycles can take much longer. However, its top cleaning results, practicality, and not to mention space convenience, make it a worthwhile investment.

Finding the best dryer for you

Price

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.

Capacity

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.

Energy source

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.

Energy efficiency

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.

Ventless dryers

While vented dryers are perhaps the most common type of dryer, there are some other 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.